Dirk Nowitzki receives a special honor. The 44-year-old legend will be the first German to be inducted into the Basketball Hall of Fame at the earliest possible date. This was announced by the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame on Saturday. Nowitzki will receive the traditional jacket and Hall of Fame ring on August 11 and will be inducted in a ceremony in Springfield the following day.

Other former NBA pros inducting into the Hall of Fame are Pau Gasol of Spain, France’s Tony Parker and Dwyane Wade in their first year of election. In addition, successful coaches Gregg Popovich and Becky Hammon are honored as other legends.

Until his career ended in 2019 for the Dallas Mavericks, Nowitzki shaped basketball as one of the best players of his generation. In 2007 he was voted the most valuable player in the NBA, in 2011 he led the Mavericks to the championship and was the first German to win the title. He is sixth in the NBA’s all-time points rankings.

In Nowitzki’s honor, his long-standing jersey number 41 is no longer awarded by the Mavericks, and a statue of the W├╝rzburg player was unveiled in front of the Texan arena at Christmas 2022.